Stakeholders highlight challenges before maritime green projects
Stakeholders have said regulatory and policy uncertainty, poor incentives, small and fragmented markets, lack of market data, failure of public, private partnership (PPP) and unclear investment goals, are challenges holding private investors from supporting the maritime green project in Nigeria.
Already, the private sector in the shipping industry is driving the green project and the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) reduction of carbon emissions in developed countries.
Stakeholders made this submission at the seventh yearly maritime students and youth conference, also known as ‘A Day with Nigerian Maritime Students,’ held in Lagos.
The conference, themed: “Towards Attaining Greener Shipping in Nigeria,” was organised by Platforms Communications.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the shipping industry releases around three per cent of the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which contributes significantly to global warming.
He said as the world’s climate begins to change, it is more crucial than ever for large companies to help clean up the planet.
Jamoh said the roles of other stakeholders cannot be understated in the move to transition to green shipping, adding that the shipping supply chain consists of several key stakeholders, which include, shippers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, port/terminal operators, inland carriers, and intermodal terminal/depot operators.
The NIMASA helmsman spoke on the topic: “Towards Attaining Greener Shipping, Cleaner Oceans and Sustainable Marine Environment In Nigeria: The Roles of Stakeholders.”
Jamoh said unfortunately, several issues are hindering private investment from backing the green projects in Nigeria, despite the IMO guidelines as well as the short, medium and long-term strategies to achieve greener shipping by 2030.
He said regulatory and policy uncertainty raises project revenue risk, which in turn, reduces project viability, investment, private sector interest and innovation.
Jamoh stated that investors are not always confident in recouping large and risky up-front investments in research and development or new production capacity if the end market is small.
Jamoh said lack of market data makes it hard to assess the expected risks and benefits of investment, especially for smaller start-ups and new innovations, which can push up the cost and may limit access to external finance.
He also noted that private-public partnerships failure due to ill-defined outcomes, insufficient private sector capacity, lack of expertise and experience among both private and public players, can lead to poor planning, implementation delays and project failure.
Jamoh further noted that with a lack of globally agreed principles for climate finance, investors struggle to align investments with climate goals.
He said the actions taken by governments now could set the world on a path to a more sustainable future that balances environmental, economic and social outcomes.
Jamoh said for Nigeria to experience rapid progress in the green maritime project, the government must provide detailed action plans with clear accountability, as well as incentivise the market and mandate change.
He said government must also boost innovation through increased funding, improve the design and delivery of green initiatives, act as a role model for other parts of the economy as well as promote a whole-of-society and people-centred approach
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the conference, Hassan Bello, urged the students in attendance, to be creative and innovative to help the country attain greener shipping, just as the developed countries are racing towards ending carbon emission in the maritime sector.
Bello, who was represented by the Secretary-General Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region (Abuja MoU), Captain Sunday Umoren, said shipping is dynamic, hence innovations and creativity should not be a one-off thing.
“I therefore encourage all students here to broaden your minds and see beyond shipping as it is today and even beyond greener shipping. Never stop learning because continuous learning will ignite a spark that will propel you into creativity, innovation and excellence,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Platforms Communications, Sylvanus Obasi, said to attain green shipping in the country, every stakeholder, including seafarers, ship owners, agencies that regulate activities of the ports, among others in the maritime industry, have a role to play.
He said the conference is a capacity-building platform that engages students and stakeholders in topical discussions aimed at proffering solutions to critical and contemporary issues affecting the future of the country’s maritime sector.
Obasi advised students of the various maritime institutions present at the conference to open their eyes to the array of entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector beyond the quest for jobs.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.